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Old August 18 2010, 03:51 AM   #1
James Wright
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Neutral Zones

I know that the Kobayashi Maru is a test of character of Starfleet cadets in the command track but, when it comes to ships moving along or through either neutral zone (Klingon or Romulan), What do ship captains have to do to gain passage through the neutral zone?
Just curious about the Kobayashi Maru test, when it struck the mine where was the ship and did the ship drift into the neutral zone?
Were Starfleet ships alone prohibited from entering the neutral zone?

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Old August 18 2010, 04:07 AM   #2
Anwar
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Re: Neutral Zones

The weirder thing to me is that the Neutral Zone was shown on that screen as being a rather small bubble. Surely the Klingons didn't sign a treaty that gave them just some bubble of space to live in while the Feds got the rest of the galaxy!
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Old August 18 2010, 07:08 AM   #3
T'Girl
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Re: Neutral Zones


A neutral zone was created between Iraq, and Saudi Arabia in December 1922, but the neutral zone only existed on a small part of the border. The zone seize to exist in June 1991.

Anwar wrote: View Post
The weirder thing to me is that the Neutral Zone was shown on that screen as being a rather small bubble.
If the TNZ bubble only exist on a portion of the Federation - Klingon border then that could have been what we saw in TWOK, It might enclose a small number of star systems that the two nations were in contest over, rather than fight over the systems, they walled them off. Civilians could enter, like fuel carriers, but not military ships. When the Enterprise went to the rescue it was in violation of treaty. But so were the Klingons.


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Old August 18 2010, 08:30 AM   #4
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Re: Neutral Zones

In the above picture, Iraq is only about twenty-thirty centimeters wide, depending on your monitor. Doesn't mean that Iraq would be "a small bubble" in reality.

We have no real idea about the scale of the bubble in the ST2 simulation. Could be 200 kilometers across. Could be 2,000 lightyears. Remember that this is a tactical exercise: Saavik's starship wouldn't necessarily be moving at warp speeds there, but rather traveling on an Indiana Jonesque arrow across the map. That such an arrow covers the 20 centimeters of Iraq in one second does not indicate that Indiana Jones was sitting in a hypersonic flying boat on his way to Tibet! Like any good simulation, both these two would be editing out the dull parts...

Supposedly, the Romulan Neutral Zone was off limits to everybody, including civilian vessels - "Way to Eden" might be argued to establish as much, as our heroes are desperate to stop Dr. Sevrin from reaching Romulan space even when he's traveling aboard a civilian vessel. One would think the Klingon Neutral Zone would have the same sort of limitations.

Then again, perhaps Sevrin knew he'd be safe from Starfleet in the RNZ, but also relatively safe from the Romulans because civilian ships were allowed in there - and this was enough to justify our heroes' desperation? It doesn't make much sense, though. What would define "civilian vessel"? Level of armament? But Romulans wouldn't welcome unarmed spyships with open arms!

If we accept that there exists a RNZ and a KNZ and perhaps others, and that these inconveniently block the direct routes between UFP planets and starbases (as seen in "The Deadly Years"), it wouldn't be all that surprising if civilian traffic at times defied the Zones, or got confused by the multitude of them. A damaged ship drifting into the zone would only be plausible if said one was fairly small in dimensions, though; even months of drifting wouldn't get a derelict noticeably deep into a large zone, and the ST2 simulation did seem to take Saavik's ship quite deep into that ovoid.

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Old August 18 2010, 05:23 PM   #5
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Re: Neutral Zones

Timo wrote: View Post
In the above picture, Iraq is only about twenty-thirty centimeters wide, depending on your monitor. Doesn't mean that Iraq would be "a small bubble" in reality.In the above picture
Iraq (in yellow) wasn't "the bubble" on the border, the elongated square (in brown) on the southern border is "the bubble," the elongated square is the neutral zone.

It is labeled "Neutral Zone."
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Old August 18 2010, 08:07 PM   #6
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Re: Neutral Zones

Iraq is a "bubble" on that map, too. So is Kuwait. The point being, maps make really big things look really small. Viewscreens might do that, too...

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Old August 18 2010, 08:09 PM   #7
C.E. Evans
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Re: Neutral Zones

James Wright wrote: View Post
Just curious about the Kobayashi Maru test, when it struck the mine where was the ship and did the ship drift into the neutral zone?
According to the onscreen dialogue, the Kobayashi Maru was traveling through a region (possibly a sector) called Gamma Hydra, which was divided into more than a dozen sections. Sections 14 and 15 were apparently in either Federation or neutral space, but Section 10 was said to be within the Neutral Zone...and that was where the Kobayashi Maru was transmitting her mayday.

It's possible that after the Kobayashi Maru collided with the mine, the ship may have drifted into the Neutral Zone, because the vessel had lost all power and was likely tumbling out of control.
Were Starfleet ships alone prohibited from entering the neutral zone?
I always took it that neither Federation or Klingon ships were allowed to enter the Neutral Zone. But once a violation by one side was confirmed--regardless if deliberate or by accident--it was considered an act of war and the other side could take punitive action. The Federation likely takes prisoners in such infractions, but the Klingons don't, according to Kirk...
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Old August 18 2010, 08:15 PM   #8
Timo
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Re: Neutral Zones

It might of course be that the Klingons and the transport were inside the volume of space englobed by the shell called the KNZ. That is, they might have been in Klingon space. To get there, Saavik would have to defy the Neutral Zone; the Klingons wouldn't.

Hard to tell from the visuals and dialogue alone. "Inside the Neutral Zone" might be fundamentally different from "In the Neutral Zone", just like "Inside the city walls" is different from "In the city walls"...

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Old August 18 2010, 08:24 PM   #9
C.E. Evans
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Re: Neutral Zones

In any event, the Kobayashi Maru was someplace she shouldn't have been, IMO.
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Old August 19 2010, 04:38 PM   #10
James Wright
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Re: Neutral Zones

Up until the Kobayashi Maru hit the mine and lost power she was where she was supposed to be.
Was the mine a Klingon weapon?
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Old August 19 2010, 05:15 PM   #11
C.E. Evans
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Re: Neutral Zones

James Wright wrote: View Post
Up until the Kobayashi Maru hit the mine and lost power she was where she was supposed to be.
I think the simplest theory is that the Kobayashi Maru was intended to be a Federation tanker--possibly a civilian one in the Prime Universe--that was operating very close to the Neutral Zone at the time she was hit and then drifted over into it, causing a response from the Klingons while a Starfleet ship attempted a rescue.

It's possible that the Kobayashi Maru may have been delivering fuel to a Federation outpost or member world along the Neutral Zone at the time of the accident, IMO.
Was the mine a Klingon weapon?
Possibly, but it could also have been a malfunctioning Federation weapon or yet something left behind by an unknown third party a long time ago that zeroed in on the Kobayashi Maru, who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. But I think what was important was that the Kobayashi Maru was in trouble and needed help, and who the mine belonged to was of little importance in the test.
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Old August 19 2010, 11:19 PM   #12
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Re: Neutral Zones

Explain the passengers!
When the Kobayashi Maru struck the mine, it began transmitting an emergency call for help, it was very likely within Federation territory, how could the ship drift so far across the neutral zone to be within reach of the Klingons?
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Old August 20 2010, 06:40 AM   #13
Timo
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Re: Neutral Zones

But I think what was important was that the Kobayashi Maru was in trouble and needed help, and who the mine belonged to was of little importance in the test.
It's obvious that a test like this would feature many unrealistic elements in order to expedite the process. And the students would be aware of this - they would know better than to challenge the gamemaster on petty details and bog down the game.

Which raises the question, would it ever be valid for a student to decide "This smells, I think the distress call is a fake, I choose not to cause an interstellar incident. Helm, maintain course!"? All the evidence might point to there being no Kobayashi Maru - but the student would be aware going in that there is no Kobayashi Maru anyway because it's all make-believe. How much is he or she expected to believe?

Perhaps the whole test is utterly unbelievable as such: perhaps there is no Klingon Neutral Zone in existence and never was, perhaps fuel transports that hit mines don't survive to send distress calls, perhaps no fuel transport ever carried any passengers. However, the individual elements might be factual: a starship captain would have to learn to cope with Neutral Zones, Klingons, mine damage, ships drifting off course, and distressed passengers. The simulation merely serves them all on the same fake platter.

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Old August 20 2010, 04:59 PM   #14
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Re: Neutral Zones

The Romulan Neutral Zone was mutually binding on both the Feds and the Romulans. But it was not a black and white thing at all. We saw in TNG that the Romulans entered Federation sometimes, and this in itself did not create a war.
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Old August 20 2010, 05:13 PM   #15
C.E. Evans
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Re: Neutral Zones

James Wright wrote: View Post
Explain the passengers!
Passengers either to or from the various outposts or member worlds along the Neutral Zone. Even though the Kobayashi Maru was designated a tanker, it may have been serving as a transport ship at the time. We've even seen the Enterprise and the Enterprise-D used as transport ships from time to time.
When the Kobayashi Maru struck the mine, it began transmitting an emergency call for help, it was very likely within Federation territory, how could the ship drift so far across the neutral zone to be within reach of the Klingons?
If the ship lost helm control first--and we've seen helmsmen report "the helm is not responding" many times before when things on a ship started to go south--the Kobayashi Maru could have traveled for quite a distance at either warp or impulse before the engines died. If the Kobayashi Maru was skirting the Neutral Zone at the time of the accident, a ship with a busted navigation system could easily drift a few million kilometers off course--and cross well into the Neutral Zone, IMO.

Timo wrote:
Perhaps the whole test is utterly unbelievable as such: perhaps there is no Klingon Neutral Zone in existence and never was, perhaps fuel transports that hit mines don't survive to send distress calls, perhaps no fuel transport ever carried any passengers. However, the individual elements might be factual: a starship captain would have to learn to cope with Neutral Zones, Klingons, mine damage, ships drifting off course, and distressed passengers. The simulation merely serves them all on the same fake platter.
That would support nuKirk's claim that the entire test is a cheat I would think.

But in regards to there being no Klingon Neutral Zone, there was a female admiral (or maybe she was a captain, dunno) in Star Trek VI who seemed shocked at the idea that the Neutral Zone might be dismantled as a result of peace talks with the Klingons. Now that does kind of imply that there is a Neutral Zone between Federation and Klingon space--now whether it's simply an extension of the one with the Romulans or a separate one just for the Klingons--is a matter of debate, but it could be that whatever no-fly area between Federation and Klingon territory probably wasn't in existence by the time of the Khitomer massacre that claimed Worf's biological parents.
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